Although he had an ambitious career in media before his big break, viewers were first introduced to Robert Quinlan Costas, more popularly known as Bob Costas, in 1980, when he was hired by NBC. Since then, Bob has won 28 Emmys for his on-screen work, but recent reports suggest that his tenure as America’s favorite sportscaster has come to an end.
Why is Bob Costas not doing the Olympics this year?
Bob previously confirmed his decision to step down as lead primetime host when he announced that he would be absent from the commentator’s booth at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and he will continue his leave of absence in the 2020 summer games.
In an interview, Bob shared that he feels that NBC’s Olympics coverage is in great hands with longtime ESPN sportscaster, Mike Tirico — who previously hosted the Rio Olympics alongside Bob in 2016 — at the helm.
Bob told USA Today, “I am going to let Mike have his time. He deserves it. I know they will do a good job under very difficult circumstances. I have many, many friends there at NBC and I wish them much success.”
Did Bob Costas retire?
While Bob may not be the primetime host of the Olympics this year, that doesn’t mean he’s saying goodbye to sportscasting for good. The 69-year-old commentator said, “I’m not looking to retire. I am just looking to do just a few things that interest me and don’t have myself beating coming and going.”
According to Bob, he’s most excited about the revival of his HBO series, Back on the Record With Bob Costas, which will return to the small screen on Friday, July 30, and promises to feature some of the biggest names in sports. In addition, Bob acts as a guest commentator for CNN and will also appear in Ken Burns’ upcoming documentary about the life of Muhammad Ali.
It’s clear that Bob’s plate is full, so we won’t see him back at the Olympics anytime soon. Meet the commentators who are taking his place.
Meet the 2020 Summer Olympics commentators.
In addition to Mike Tirico, who serves as the prime-time host of the 2020 Summer Olympic Games, Rebecca Lowe, Ahmed Fareed, Liam McHugh, and Kathryn Tappen will also serve as sportscasters for the international event.
On NBC, Mike will provide primetime and late-night coverage. Rebecca will host during the day while Ahmed, Liam, and Kathryn will broadcast live on USA Network. Mike told People that although he has big shoes to fill, he’s more than ready to take the next step.
"I got the call from our executive producer at the time that Bob was ready to step down from his role and that they would like me to do that role.” He added, “I was shocked by it. I didn't think Bob was ready to move on from the role, but, without saying, I was thrilled to have that call placed to me."